My Foundations: interior designer Francis Sultana shares his inspirations
23 June 2017 • 3:24pm
Maltese-born designer Francis Sultana established his interior design business in 2009. Specialising in luxury residential projects around the world for an art-collecting clientele, his atelier and showroom are based in St James’s above David Gill Gallery, of which Sultana is also CEO.
In addition to interiors, he also produces annual collections of bespoke and limited-edition furniture and textiles, often inspired by friends such as gallerist Harry Blain or Serpentine Galleries CEO Yana Peel. He is the only British designer invited to join AD Collections 2017 in Paris and he sits on the judging panels of both PAD and Masterpiece. Here he shares his inspirations...
When you were growing up which building first made you want to become a designer?
Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright. I just loved everything about it and I remember copying the plans when I was six years old! The whole concept of the architecture with the bespoke furniture have had a profound effect on me.
Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright Credit: Getty Images/Richard T. Nowitz
Which designer first inspired you?
David Hicks – it was actually the Villa Verde in Portugal, again it was about designing not only the interior but the furniture too, and in this case the entire building.
Which piece of architecture do you most admire?
The Chrysler in New York – this building's design, scale and glamour and its timeless beauty have a captivating hold on me.
You collect lots of art, which artists do you most admire?
My all-time favourite living artist is George Condo and historically it's Francis Picabia
Which design classic do you love most?
My iPhone – as it's one of the most important tools in my life.
How about an artist you've recently discovered?
Secondino Hernandez, he is consistently getting stronger and stronger, I love everything he paints.
Where do you consistently return for inspiration?
The art deco period, it has glamour and sophistication with clean modernist lines, but it still has an undercurrent of the 18th century…
If you could return to any other design era, which would it be?
1930s Paris for the design and perhaps Hollywood for the glamour - that era just fascinates me.
Which materials do you enjoy using in your work?
Bronze, without a doubt… I use it in every collection I design, it is my favourite material.
Which city most inspires you?
London: quite simply, everything about it from its Georgian elegance to absolutely all aspects of life here. It's well mannered, sophisticated and full of creativity.